Updated: Living in Godless America

Welcome, apparently, to Godless America. One of the unremarked-upon quirks of GW Bush’s State of the Union speech last night was the disappearance of God from the text’s closing.

Other than a paraphrased quote about Dikembe Mutombo, the word “God” doesn’t appear in the 2007 State of the Union speech. In every other Bush-delivered State of the Union speech, dating back to 2001, Bush has always closed the speech with some variant on “May God bless America”, but that ending phraseology didn’t make the cut this year. (As an aside, the most God-filled SoU speech was in 2003, when the Big Guy showed up 4 times, three of them in a closing flurry.)

In a Presidency as conscious of its constituencies as any in modern history, that can’t have been an accidental omission.

[via the NY Times’ nifty SoU text analyzer]

[Update] Interestingly, I have had pointed out to me that the original White House transcript ends with “God bless”, but the NY Times transcript doesn’t have it, nor does the CBS Marketwatch transcript that I scanned earlier.

Bring on Matt Drudge! Liberal media bias 😉 !


  1. Good catch, Paul…I also grooved on the NY Times word analysis tool.
    But putting God through it’s paces, the data stream comes up as 1,2,4,3,1,2,2 for the years 2001 through 2007.
    It seems like 2003 was the anomaly, and the rest were par for the course.

  2. Hey Michael — True, but that was sort of alongside my point. The real issue was the disappearance of the closing “God bless America”, which has been there ever since Bush began doing these things.
    The sole appearance of God in most of years was in that invocation, which was studiedly absent this year. I can’t believe that was an accident.

  3. Paul,
    The statement was noticably absent from a speech given before the SOU when the President announced the Surge strategy along with the troop increase etc. in Iraq.

  4. Interesting. So perhaps a recent change? Where are the NY Times political reporters when you need ’em. I think we’re on to a bit of Rove-ishness here.

  5. john shipman says:

    Paul — NYT’s text analyzer’s not so nifty. The president did say “God Bless” at the end of his speech. From whitehouse.gov transcript:
    We’ve met challenges and faced dangers, and we know that more lie ahead. Yet we can go forward with confidence — because the State of our Union is strong, our cause in the world is right, and tonight that cause goes on. God bless. (Applause.)

  6. This is so petty. I’ll bet you still believe in the Great Plastic Turkey, too.

  7. I thought he said it, but the applause was starting so it might not have been completely audible.

  8. Love that update. The Liberal media conveniently editing out God: why are we not surprised?

  9. He clearly said “God Bless” as his final two words.

  10. Note that he clearly did not make any mention of God in his address to the nation regarding the new plan for Iraq. See my blog about it – http://thegreatrealization.wordpress.com/2007/01/11/george-w-bush-having-a-falling-out-with-his-master/